Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

DRCs, DLOCs continue to offer services, but close for July 4 holiday

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Four Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), scheduled to close July 6, will remain open until further notice.Since the deadline to apply has been extended, Tennesseans have until Aug. 5 to register for disaster assistance.DRCs allow disaster survivors who experienced damage from the severe storms and flooding between April 30 and May 18 to meet one-on-one with recovery specialists who can answer questions and provide additional information about specific needs. Recovery specialists also can supply contacts for other programs that may be of help.Additionally, eight U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOCs) will remain open to answer any applicant questions about SBA's low-interest disaster loan program. This program is available to homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations of all sizes. These loans are to repair or replace real estate and/or personal property damaged by the storms and flooding.Many DLOCs are former DRCs and each DLOC has at least one FEMA Individual Assistance specialist on site. In total, 66 separate DRC operations -- servicing some 19,000 visitors -- were established since the federal disaster declaration on May 4."The transitions of DRCs to DLOCs demonstrates the commitment of the SBA to ensure that qualified individuals and businesses receive the help they need to recover," said Frank Skaggs, director of the SBA Field Operations Center. "We are encouraging people affected by this disaster to visit a DRC or DLOC if they need help completing their loan applications."For many renters and homeowners, completing and returning the loan application is crucial to accessing complete disaster recovery assistance. If you are approved for a loan, you are not required to take one out. If you are denied, you may be eligible for other FEMA grants.To date, FEMA has approved more than $144 million in aid to disaster households in the state, while the SBA has approved more than $104 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations of all sizes.The DRCs are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Both the DRCs and the DLOCs will be closed July 4 and 5 and reopen July 6.The registration telephone lines will remain open through the holiday weekend.Disaster officials suggest that before visiting a DRC, homeowners, renters and business owners first register online, anytime, at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585 for those with speech and hearing disabilities. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Help is available in all languages.In Wilson County, a DLOC is located at Prime Outlets of Lebanon-Food Court, One Prime Outlet Boulevard, Lebanon, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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